CHICAGO (CBS) — Lawyers for the City of Chicago were in the U.S. District Court arguing that the Trump Administration should not be allowed to take away federal law enforcement grants from Chicago because of its policies on undocumented immigrants.
Federal judge Harry Leinenweber told all the lawyers they would hear from him, but he did not say when.
The city is asking for a nationwide injunction against the Justice Department’s decisions on getting law enforcement grants, but Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler argued that requiring cities, like Chicago, to cooperate with federal authorities to deport undocumented immigrants is well within the law and the constitution.
But Chicago Corporation Council Ed Siskel said it’s not and is just wrong.
“The Mayor and Superintendent Johnson have been very clear from the minute these conditions were announced by the Trump Justice Department that we will not standby and have our values as a welcoming city compromised,” Siskel said.
Attorney Ron Safer also argued that it’s unconstitutional for the Department of Justice to bar grant money, because the city will not give the feds notice of and unfettered access to undocumented immigrants who may be held for minor crimes.
Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler said the authority is there and the grants are voluntary and don’t involve much money.
But Siskel said we are not just talking about Chicago.
“There are law enforcement agencies, there are former and current prosecutors, and law enforcement officials all around the county who have weighed in saying these conditions need to be struck down,” he said.
What hangs in the balance is $1.6 million in federal funds for Chicago. But also more than $35 million in grant money for the more than 30 other cities, counties and organizations are siding with Chicago in its federal lawsuit.